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My Boyfriend's Sister Just Started College With Us

My Boyfriend's Sister Just Started College With Us

Dear Sugar
My boyfriend and I are graduate students at a large university. This fall, his younger sister enrolled at our school as a freshman and we were so excited to have her here.

She eats dinner at our place once a week, meets him for lunch on another day every week, has coffee with me almost every week, and spends most Saturday evenings with us. While we really enjoy her company, I'm concerned that she might be using us as a crutch.

She doesn't seem to be making any other friends at school and their mother tells me that she calls home crying most days that she hasn't seen us. I've been lonely and depressed before, and I've tried talking to her about how she feels, but she doesn't want to open up.

So you think that we are helping her or hurting her? Should we welcome her anytime she wants to come over or should we be pushing her to spend time with other people? Supportive Samara

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Supportive Samara
It sounds like this is the first time that she's been in an environment outside of her comfort zone. It can be scary to be far from home and not know anybody. She definitely needs you now and you guys are doing the right thing by meeting her throughout the week.

It doesn't sound like you are taking up too much of her time, rather you are just checking in with her a couple of times a week to make sure that she's alright. She needs your support right now, so don't cut her off from her only source of comfort anytime soon.

What you can do more of is encourage her to meet new people, to join a social club, and attend social events. Maybe one night after dinner, accompany her to her dorm and help facilitate the process of making new friends there.

Push her in a way that says "When I did this my fresh year, it was so fun." Just make sure that she doesn't feel that you don't want her around. Let her know that you loved your college experience and that pretty soon, she'll grow to love it too.

Join The Conversation
dead_swanky dead_swanky 10 years
Dead_Swanky That is great advice, Maybe you could also get her involved in some hobbies that would help her meet new people- she may just be homesick and a little shy- shes lucky to have family close
Cheena Cheena 10 years
I totally agree with Dear Sugar. In my freshman year my brother was there before me and I did spend quite a bit of time with him, but eventually I ended up meeting new people because my brother didn't have that much time for me anymore because of his studies and girlfriend. I understood and knew that he had a life and that I would always be a part of it but I needed my own life that he could be a part of. It did take me a bit, maybe about a semester or so, but I was willing. Maybe taking her to study groups or cafes or even the school's student union so she can be able to see possible people that she has classes with and say hello.... In University, the mall area (Main hall) and student union were the places that everyone hung out in. We also had a phone support system like if you needed to talk, like teen line in the cities....
Toronado Toronado 10 years
Plus, you know, she's not going to make tons of friends instantly. Once she gives it more time and starts to settle into the environment, she'll enjoy herself more and more.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
la_clique, Who is your avatar? She is pretty!
la_clique la_clique 10 years
Good advice! Freshman year is the best time to get acclimated to campus and really see what there is to do. I really wish I had done more of that.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years
Awesome advice, Dearsugar. Couldn't have said it better.
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